After being named the Eastern Cape retailer of the year in its category for the second time earlier this year, it’s fair to say that SPAR Ugie is a small store with a big reputation.
“We always fly the SPAR flag high,” said manager Dewald Martens.
“Even though we’re a small rural store based in a small town, our passion for service, quality and consistency is tops.
“It is our goal every year to win the title and we’ve done it twice now,” he said. “We were blessed to receive this award for the first time in 2013 after 10 years of trading, and now again in 2019.
“What’s special is that our customers are just as excited as we are when we win an award. They come and talk to us about it and congratulate us.
“I think it makes them feel that we’re really looking after them.”
Attributing their success to hard work and consistency, he said he and his team ensure that the store is always fully stocked, clean, tidy and fresh.
Customer service is also hugely important to the SPAR Ugie team, with training sessions for staff high on their weekly agenda.
“Having won the SPAR Training Store of the Year award in 2018, we know the importance of strong management support coupled with regular customer service training,” said Martens.
Community involvement also lies close to his heart.
“We support local schools and sports events, children and old age shelters, and disadvantaged people, whether it’s in the form of funds, food or blankets. We try our best to help wherever we can.”
Sensitive to prevailing economic conditions, SPAR Ugie also runs regular specials and giveaways for the benefit of their shoppers.
Another big attraction – and a first for SPAR Ugie – was its Win a Car competition this year.
“We wanted to show our customers how much we care,” explained Martens, “so we purchased a car out of our own funds.”
Aside from boosting sales, he said it made quite a statement in the community.
“Everyone was eager to win it!”